Sometimes the absence of a body means that a funeral service as such, cannot be held. Instead a memorial service, along similar lines, provides an opportunity for grief sharing, life celebration and farewell. It also helps to bring closure to the death of a loved one.
A memorial service need not necessarily involve an undertaker or funeral director. It can be held at any appropriate venue, including a church or funeral home chapel. The latter often provides the option of having a social get-together after the service.
In the absence of a casket, it is nice to give mourners a focus with a display at the front of the venue incorporating perhaps a photo, flowers, candles and an item relevant to the deceased, e.g. Motor-cycle helmet, roller-skates, fishing rod, tennis racquet, surf board, trophy, flag, jewellery.
Memorial services are often associated with sudden or unexpected deaths, or deaths that have occurred away from Auckland. As such, they provide an important link for mourners to gather, share their grief and attempt to find some sense and common ground from which to begin moving forward with life. They can act as a safety valve and their value should not be underestimated.
Thank you for your help and kindness. We couldn't have done it without you. - Shirley & Luke